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Unknown 1890s Commencement Exercises Invitation Real or Fantasy?


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#1 McDermut99

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 04:14 PM

Took a chance for $1 at a local antique store that it might be original. The card reads:

“You are cordially invited to attend our Commencement Exercises & Hop June 5th, 6th, & 7th 1892”
It lists names on committees, none of which have been helpful in research. I believe it’s for the opening of a military academy, possibly in Texas. Assuming it’s original, there’s nothing on the card that specifically identifies a particular academy or any institution/instillation. The card is marked “Elliott, Phila” on the bottom. There is remnants of gold along the edges of the card and I left the string in case it was original, as it appears fairly old. The cardstock feels and looks old, but that doesn’t always mean original.

This is quite out of my usual wheelhouse of collecting but for the price I took a chance. Is this original and if so, any ideas as to what military institution or facility It came from? If it’s not original what are any identifiable characteristics?

Any input or comments are greatly appreciated!

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Edited by McDermut99, 02 December 2019 - 04:15 PM.


#2 Brig

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 04:46 PM

I'd say it's original, and was probably tied to something that identified the actual location. No reason to make fantasy pieces for something as mundane as a commencement ceremony. I think you have an original, interesting piece



#3 scottiques

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 05:01 PM

Agree, looks original and interesting.  Not a target for the repro/ reprint market.

 

Scott



#4 Jeffrey Magut

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 06:26 PM

The building is Texas A & M. I see that E J Altgelt (listed in the Arrangement Committee) graduated  from A & M in 1892, so that matches up well.



#5 jim46

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:49 AM

I was going to suggest Texas A&M also, but it is definitely NOT a Texas flag that is shown. It looks more like a Chilean flag, but if so it is even upside down for that.



#6 gwb123

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:53 AM

Commencement would generally be a graduation ceremony rather than the opening of an institution.  Plus, the date in June would also be appropriate for graduation.



#7 McDermut99

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:26 AM

The building is Texas A & M. I see that E J Altgelt (listed in the Arrangement Committee) graduated  from A & M in 1892, so that matches up well.

 

 

I was going to suggest Texas A&M also, but it is definitely NOT a Texas flag that is shown. It looks more like a Chilean flag, but if so it is even upside down for that.

 

Thank you very much for the comments! I did some more research into the names and I found that E.H. Sauvignet graduated from Texas A&M in 1892. I did some digging on the campus buildings and the building at the top of the card is a near match to the first Old Main building that was built in 1875 and burned in 1912. My card also has the cadet formations that were apparently a common occurrence at that time.

 

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The building at lower right is also a near match to the Assembly Hall which was built in 1889 and torn down in 1929.

 

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Another name on the list I found a Texas A&M connection was H.C. Schumacher, who was Henry C. Schumacher, a prominent local and member of the Board of Directors in 1925. There is actually a Schumacher Hall on campus named after him.

https://reslife.tamu...ls/schuhmacher/

 

jim46, I agree the flag at first doesn't look much like the Texas flag, but with both the American flags cut that way it makes a bit more sense. Plus given all the connections to Texas A&M I'm becoming very confident it is the Texas flag. 



#8 McDermut99

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:30 AM

Another piece of information I found was that the rank insignia pictured on my card was the same style used on the Texas A&M cadet uniforms during the 1890's. The uniform is also very similar. Also the rank on the invitation seem to show a "path to Lt.".

 

(Second from left)

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Edited by McDermut99, 03 December 2019 - 09:40 AM.


#9 McDermut99

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:39 AM

Commencement would generally be a graduation ceremony rather than the opening of an institution.  Plus, the date in June would also be appropriate for graduation.

 

You're right, I'm not sure why that didn't occur to me! I contacted the archive at Texas A&M and gave them a detailed description of the invitation, which will be passed on to their curators and historians. Hopefully I'll hear back from them within the week.

 

I found this notice in the June 6th, 1892 edition of the Galveston Daily News, confirming the commencement exercises for A&M did occur during that time in 1892.

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#10 turmanator

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:48 AM

Hate to beat a dead horse but that looks much more like a Texas flag than Chile. Chile has the blue with the star just in the left hand corner with white underneath whereas Texas the whole left side of the flag top to bottom is blue with the star in the muddle of the blue. Its hard to see the white and red sections clearly though


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